The July 18 issue of HOMEWORLD BUSINESS® features the 17th annual Impact Merchants special report. Housewares suppliers, representing the categories that HomeWorld covers, once again were asked to nominate buyers and merchandisers believed to have made a significant impact during the past year.
The selection of the 18 Impact Merchant winners is not intended as a definitive list of the best merchants in housewares retailing. Votes went to several more merchandisers than those featured. This year’s honorees represent buyers in given categories that received the majority of votes by vendors polled.
Voters were asked to give added weight to merchandising creativity, trend and marketing astuteness, attention to detail, openness to risk, flexibility, relationship building and the ability to deliver a profitable program for both the vendors and retailer while providing value to consumers. One thing this year’s Impact Merchants share is a vote of respect by their vendors. In today’s unpredictable retail environment, that vote really counts.
Lance Allen, Home Depot, Cleaning Merchant
Home Depot stocks a full range of household floor care and cleaning tools, which, according to vendors, focus on customer satisfaction and value.
While competition from both established brands and those just entering the market continues to influence the category, floor care and cleaning vendors touted Lance Allen, cleaning merchant for Home Depot, as “best in class” for his ability to analyze category trends and consumer insights, inevitably leading to chain wide success.
It is this recognition by vendors that has caused Allen to be selected as a 2016 HOMEWORLD BUSINESS® Impact Merchant.
With a background including product development merchant for Home Depot and a buyer for Sears Holdings, floor care vendors said Allen works with the vendor community to create the best shopping experience. In his current position, vendors said Allen works hard to provide the highest quality cleaning solutions for residential and commercial applications at a great value, whether customers buy online or in-store.
Vendors also praised Allen’s treatment of the retailer and vendor relationship as a true partnership, collaboratively developing annual business plans and goals that deliver category growth and customer satisfaction.
One vendor noted that Allen utilizes his over arching industry knowledge to drive floor care category decisions and ensure his customer’s needs are met.
In addition, vendors said Allen acknowledges and rewards items and programs that are successful at delivering results while increasing points of distribution and continuing promotional support.
2016 HomeWorld Business Impact Merchants (click on name for profile):
- Bob Couch, Shopko
- Lance Allen, Home Depot
- Paul Casey, Groupon
- Melissa Gaeto, Sur La Table
- Michelle Rado, Costco
- Erica Price, Wayfair
- Joan Haney, Kroger
- Gregg Smith, The Cook’s Warehouse
- Sara Stuckert, Kohl’s
- Dallas Dobbs, Walmart
- Shawn Austin, Macy’s
- Melissa Cameron, Tuesday Morning
- Chris Kutil, Bon-Ton
- Susan Cantalupo, Crate & Barrel
- Alex Ogof, Bed Bath & Beyond
- Michael Beltrami, Cutlery And More
- John Gehre, H-E-B
- Diana Wilf, Gracious Home